Melinda lives in Guyana in South America and was 35-years-old when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis. Now 40, she has started an Endometriosis Support Group in her country. May she bring the government, the women, and the medical professionals together to raise Endo awareness and improve healthcare for the Guyanese citizens!
Let me begin by thanking Lisa Drayton from Bloomin’ Uterus for giving me that little nudge I needed to start this Endo conversation in Guyana. My journey with Endometriosis has been a long and very painful one.
During the latter half of my teens I started having severe pains, heavy bleeding, bloating, lower back pain and constipation during my menstrual cycle. The pain was so intense I would sometimes faint. My teacher/ parents would rush me to the Hospital/clinic and after what seemed like a barrage of tests/ ultrasounds, prescription pain killers and Iron supplements would be sent home with the hope that this would be my final trip with this recurring complaint and somehow the meds would actually help. I was even placed on contraceptives which helped a little. Strange enough not one of the numerous GPs or Obs/Gyns I visited suggested Endometriosis.
In retrospect I feel my symptoms were classic text book case for an early Endo diagnosis. It was even suggested during one of my visits that once I conceived these painful episodes would disappear. Well! It didn’t. At 25 yrs I had my first child and guess what? All the symptoms returned with my period. By this time I was downright fed up. I was being robbed of a good quality of life and no one knew the reason. I gained a considerable amount of weight even though I was eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. I couldn’t understand it. I stopped visiting the Doctors. While most of the symptoms remained the fainting disappeared. I developed coping mechanisms.
At 35 yrs old I gave birth to my second child by CS. Again, the symptoms returned. Four years after, my period started running for nine days instead of the usual five for three consecutive months with heavy bleeding. I became weak and anemic so I finally decided to visit my doctor. She recommended an ultrasound which revealed I had severe scarring and two ovarian cysts. One was large enough to necessitate surgical intervention.
During surgery it was discovered I had Endometriosis so my doctor removed the offending tissues ( simply put). I was away from work for three months and those were three wonderful months. No pains, no constipation, no back pains, no nausea, and no bloating during my periods. My Ob/Gyn advised this would be temporary. In addition to the fact that my chances of conceiving again are very slim to nil. It felt good to be free of the pain.
Then ……….. ( I wish I could say it was happily ever after); the symptoms returned increasing in intensity as the months progressed. My Dr prescribed meds which are not available locally . I was able to access them for what seemed like a small fortune.
Nine months later they seem not to be helping. The pain continues. The bloating continues. The heavy bleeding continues. My Endo journey continues.
Words of Advice for Us: Keep the faith. Keep the conversations going! As long as we have life; we have hope.
If you wish to contact Melinda, you can find her Facebook EndoCare group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/330769713952617/
I want to send a special Thank You out to Melinda for being brave enough to share her personal story, struggle, and victories with us today. I am sorry to hear your pain continues, but as you said, “Keep the faith.” AND thank you for creating the EndoCare Guyana Endometriosis support group! Wishing you Sisters the best!! You are a beautiful, brave, and strong woman. Thank you!!!
And if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here. The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.